Bank of England (BoE), the UK’s apex bank, launched an online poll this week aimed at ascertaining customers most preferred transaction methods for the festive season; with digital currency topping the poll results.
The festive season in its usual bubble amid Christmas and New Year preparations, is a season of love usually demonstrated by acts of giving. Statistics in recent times have shown an increase in money and gift cards giving rather than the traditional item or gift giving which for most people is complex and difficult to decide on what gifts to present to their loved ones.
Monetary gifts and gift vouchers have been lauded as better alternatives which ultimately present the receiver with the choice to buy his preferred item or save.
In line with this, the Bank of England (BoE) published a pool on Twitter this week – “If you receive money as a gift this Christmas, what’s your favourite way to get it?”, asking its followers and customers their preferred means of receiving money gifts this season.
The poll features a number of options for users including Cash, Bank transfer, Gift voucher and Digital currency. Quite unexpectedly, current results from the poll show a resounding 72% of the respondents choosing digital currency, 20% Cash, 6% Bank transfer and 2% prefer Gift cards.
Some respondents also specified their choice cryptocurrency. Majority of replies had Ripple XRP and Bitcoin BTC top the choice list; with Ripple’s swift transaction time, publicity and banking partnerships being a major factor.
Even as some quarters may choose to view this pool as a regular conversation or customer engagement platform, the extensive implication of these results point out a few certainties.
First, it shows to a great extent the welcome and wide acceptability ratio of cryptocurrencies, either as a store of value, an investment instrument, a swift transaction choice with lesser charges or as a gift for payments.
Also, England (UK) and the Bank of England are yet to develop a distinctive stance on cryptocurrencies though they have been engaged in research around the industry. Many speculate that this Twitter poll is a move to measure public interest in the sector and probably have the Bank of England make informed decisions as regards digital currency in line with the bank’s FutureForumBoE campaign.
Despite its current uncertain status, the bank of England as stated through its Governor, Mark Carney remains open to the possibility of a Central Bank-issued Digital Currency (CBDC). An affirmation he made at a recent panel sitting after his previous comments dismissing Bitcoin as feasible.
The Bank had also incorporated private DLT payment systems based on blockchain technology into its network, a move Carney believes will attract innovations in the banking system.
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